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The Coming Day…Brigid and the Spring-Signs

By Byron Ballard

As sure as clockwork, every 6 weeks, we Pagan folk have a holy day. We have one coming up this weekend, in fact. It is generally called Imbolc, an Irish-derived word that means “in the belly” because it is the time when the lambing begins and the ewes’ milk comes in. In very practical terms–and you know I love that practical magic–it meant that the weaker members of the tribe (the young and the old) could be strengthened by sharing that rich sheep milk and that the tribe itself had probably made it through the worst of the winter.

It is sometimes called “Oimelc” and that’s a Scots-Gaelic word that means the same thing. Imbolc is correctly pronounced “im-mulk”, with a silent “b”. Try saying im-mulk and oy-mulk fast a few times and you’ll see how similar they are in sound. For people who shared a linguistic commonality but had been apart geographically for many generations, they carried the same meaning.

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